Oroville School Board tours elementary

OROVILLE – As part of their regular meeting last Monday, the Oroville School Board toured the elementary building, paying particular attention to the work being done on the new roof.

The tour followed reports from the superintendent and two of the spring coaches. There were no principal’s reports, because both the high school and elementary school principals were away at training.

“Well we graduated everyone, with the exception of two who didn’t quite make it. I think they’re going to complete what they need to over the summer,” said Steve Quick in his Superintendent’s report. “The senior trip was fun… the kids were mostly well behaved.”

Quick said the district has a new physical education teacher coming, who will also serve as the boys high school basketball coach. His name is Matt Thacher and he comes to Oroville from Goldendale, Wash., according to Quick.

The superintendent said there were a few teachers who were looking elsewhere at employment and had not found a new district. He wanted to remind them that July 1 is the cutoff to be released from their contract.

“The roof project is really progressing along. Oversight from the project manager has saved us thousands of dollars so far,” said Quick, adding, “The wells for the energy project at the high school are being drilled.”

Quick said he and the two principals had attended evaluation training last week and that both principals are in training to do teacher evaluations.

“The whole evaluation system makes me a little nervous, but overall I think it will turn out to be a positive,” Quick said.

Golf Coach DeHaven Hill started out by thanking Dolly Sneve and the Oroville Golf Corse for their help during the golf season.

“We are very fortunate and have gotten spoiled because they do not charge us to use the course, they even are letting the players play for free during the summer,” he said.

Three Oroville golfers qualified for state and the team also took an alternate.

“Connor Hughes, a senior, set goals and he accomplished them at state,” said Hill. “Our two eighth graders – Jordyn Smith had a great experience and Brice Glover is just a golf junky.”

Hill added, “It was also the first time all the parents all went over and that was great support. It was a great season and I’m looking forward to next season.”

Harold Jensen, the Oroville Track Coach brought visual aids, including several sports and sports photo pages from the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune he had lamented.

“I want to thank the G-T and Brent, he took some great photos,” said Jensen.

Jensen said that the track team had taken 10 to state this year.

“In addition, the girls won two trophies this year – the Colville Invitational and the sub districts up here,” Jensen said, adding the track program is working on a website with all past results.

The board then travelled over to the elementary school, looking at the condition of the kitchen and cafeteria first.

“Steve Thompson, head of the maintenance department, said he had replaced several tiles and two holes, one in the cooler wall, that were required by the health department.

“If there is one part of the building we ever want to get rid of, I would suggest it be this center section,” said Thompson.

The tour then went to look over the bathrooms at both ends of the buildings. The toilets on the primary end flush automatically with a system where water is constantly running, according to Thompson. He said this was a pretty dramatic waste.

While there he pointed out the two enclosed drains that cross the hallway in this section. These have pipes that empty water that is gathered through the inverted pitched room above this section. He said the new roofing and repairs to the gaskets should prevent further leaking into the hall. He added that overflow drains at the two foot level were being added (a state requirement) that will prevent the up to six feet of standing water that had been overpowering the drains ability to handle above average sustained rain and melting snow.

“Normally the drains can handle it, but when we get a lot of water it is just too much for the drain system as the old gaskets leak,” he said.

The group also looked at the bathrooms on the south end of the building. Thompson showed where he had to bring in a new pipe to carry hot water to the sinks. He said the old pipe, which runs underground had disintegrated with age and could not be easily repaired.

Next the tour went to one of the classrooms and asked questions about the tile and windows. They also were told that they had been painted two years ago.

Then it was outside to look at the now pitched roof and the board members looked at the thickness of the new composite shingles. They are guaranteed for 15 years for material and labor, according to Thompson. The materials themselves are guaranteed for 50 years.

The board travelled back to the district office and resumed the meeting, passing a large consent agenda that included setting the upcoming school year’s meeting dates and keeping the meeting time at 6:30 p.m.

Other consent agenda items included approving the resignation of Jacqueline Marshall and Stacy Hinze (as volleyball coach), hiring Jay Ottman as middle school math teaher; Jaime Santana as a bus driver and Thacker as PE teacher and basketball coach.

The board approved using eighth grade students for certain sports next year as per WIAA guidelines.

“I’m probably the only one that still doesn’t like it, but the parents and everyone seem to think it has been a positive,” said Quick.

“We did have two eighth grade kids go to state in golf,” said School Director Rocky DeVon. “All those parents I have talked to said it’s their and their kids decision.”

The coaches are still required to put a written policy together regarding the use of eighth graders in high school sports teams. Director Todd Hill said if approval was contingent on that policy being done right away he would bet it would get done faster.

“I just don’t want an issue with parents later with a senior versus an eighth grader wanting to play in the same position problem,” said Hill.

Four of the agenda items, which were donations, were pulled out by Director Amy Wise for special recognition.

They included a $1192 donation from the PTO for the YoYo Assembly; a $200 donation from the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Republic for the Kindergarten classes and a $1370 donation from the Oroville Booster Club for Cheer Camp and $107 for FBLA registration for Nationals.

The board will next meet on Monday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the district office located at 816 Juniper St.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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